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The Book as Art v.7.0: Wonders Presented by the Decatur Arts Alliance, Georgia Center for the Book, DeKalb Library Foundation, and the Decatur Library August 9–September 27, 2019 A book begins as a small mass of material, formed and pressed into life by ideas, words, and machines. A concept becomes thought, becomes word, becomes book, becomes sculpture. From the tactile complexity of handmade paper, to the alteration of existing volumes, to a variety of other materials and concepts, these objects, in an increasingly digital world, stubbornly survive. The objects in this exhibition will interpret the concept of the book and invite the viewer to look beyond the printed page to where word has become form. Book As Art: Wonders is the seventh edition of this critically acclaimed artist book exhibition established by the Decatur Arts Alliance in 2013. Entries hail from across the United States and around the world, and from emerging artists as well as recognized masters in the genre. The Book As Art is pleased to present these examples from the finest in the field. . Jurors are Denise Bookwalter, Tallahassee, Florida; Mari Eckstein Gower, Redmond, Washington, and Andrew Huot, Norcross, Georgia; Special events: Opening Reception, August 23, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Closing Reception and White Glove Night, September 27, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. On White Glove Night, we're putting away the "do not touch" signs. Volunteers will provide participants with white gloves allowing firsthand exploration of the books in the exhibition. Organizing Committee Angie Macon, Executive Director, Decatur Arts Alliance Joe Davich, Director, Georgia Center for the Book Dot Moye, Jury Coordinator Lockey McDonald, Registrar Ann VanSlyke, Volunteer Coordinator Gina Reynoso, Cynthia Lollis, Anna Carnes, and Charlotte Pfieffer


Jody Arthur, Wailuku, Hawaii

Keana Edition of 10 Book art, woodblock prints, handmade paper Essay by Laurel Salinas-Nakanishi In 2014, the discovery of an extinct native species of Hawaiian bat was announced, the tiny Synemporion keana. Very little is known about this species of bat. Keana evokes an antique specimen case, with three interior drawers, each offering a glimpse of this elusive creature. The drawers hold woodblock prints based on the bones discovered by archaeologists, a booklet with an essay on the bat written by poet Laurel Salinas-Nakanishi, and a ghostly bat silhouette on handmade paper. The lyrical essay tells Keana’s story, from its introduction to the Hawaiian Islands to its extinction, and the folded structure of the booklet allows the reader to explore the text in a playful manner. Photography credit: Jody Arthur


Charlene Asato, Mountain View, Hawaii

Verdant Knoll Double flag Book; Mi-Teintes paper, Canson watercolor paper, Tyvek, acrylic, binder board, waxed linen thread, coconut bead clasps I find it very exciting that a simple fold changes a two-dimensional plane into a three-dimensional form. Artist’s books give me a wonderful avenue to convey this energy. I love that I can integrate various art processes that interest me into my books. These include calligraphy, photography, decorative paper designing (paste paper and orizomegami-Japanese fold and dye technique), watercolor, pen and ink, embossing, relief printing, origami, assemblage and collage. Some of my books may open up to quiet charm or may open in an explosion of surprise. I derive inspiration from the Hawaiian and Japanese culture and the patterns, textures, shapes and colors in nature and around me. Gardens are my favorite places to contemplate and recharge my vision. My own garden is a great source of inspiration to me. Photography credit: Charlene Asato


Anita Balkun, West Hartford, Connecticut

TEN Flash cards, fabric trim and gold leaf, poetry by C. Feeney, tally marks on Albanene vellum, and beads These artworks combine familiar objects with the form and essence of the book. A book is tactile, personal, and informative and reveals its truth slowly over time. It is a vessel for information and imagination. It challenges and stimulates the intellect and senses. The form of a book is as recognizable as many of the found objects, and this artwork presents new interpretations of both books and objects. As a collector of the commonplace, my work often reuses stuff rescued from the scrap bin or found by happenstance and transforms it into unexpected forms. The straightforward use of materials allows the sculptural aspect of the artwork to highlight with integrity the extraordinary qualities of the objects. I discover and interpret ordinary things by using the history or journey of the object as a springboard to the emerging form -- the past and present are bound together as the narration continues. Photography: Anita Balkun


Albert Brown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Homer + Ferlinghetti + Keats @ Coney Island Inkjet, watercolor pencil on paper Edition of 5 Two poets, separated by the stream of 150 years, interpret the quintessential travel story. For one, it is a Romantic voyage of discovery; for the other it is passage through a chaotic sea filled with perilous metaphors. Independently threading the accordion’s maze of folds and cuts, the travelers arrive at journey’s end: the same final line on separate continents. Photography: Daniel Brown, Wide-eyed Pictures


Aurora Brush, Allston, Massachusetts

The Day You Arrived 16 intaglio etchings overlaid with 16 pages of text on rice paper and bound between a screen-printed cover The Day You Arrived explores the intimacy of an individual's creation through the perspective of her mother. I have referenced the stories passed down to me by my mother, and her mother, and the mother that came before, to depict the fervent maternal love that has been the backbone of my family. Each page of the book pairs illustrations and text to express an arrested moment within a life. The images were generated on copper plates through etching, and the incidental marks and dents were caused by carrying the plates with me during my daily routine. I chose this method of working in order to capture my day-to-day experiences in the images themselves, so I might convey a feeling of looking into random yet significant junctures in a person’s life while still maintaining a loose narrative. The content intends to be specifically unspecific in that it points to an exact subject, place, state of mind, and series of events but doesn’t necessarily define who, where, or what is unfolding. Photography: Aurora Brush


Rebecca Chamlee, Simi Valley, California

Giant: a deity with leaves Letterpress printed hand-bound book Edition of 50 Giant: a deity with leaves celebrates the glory of a single magnificent tree and the gifts it bestows-wonder, inspiration and an intimate connection with the natural world. The letterpress printing was done using handset Centaur and Arrighi metal type, wood French Clarendon and photo polymer plates on Zerkall Book Wove, handmade Kitakata and Korean Hanji papers. The botanical pages are contact prints on Strathmore Aquarius II watercolor paper. The long stitch binding, sewn with hand-dyed linen thread through a white oak spine, has a cover of contact printed and dyed handmade Indigo watercolor paper. The deluxe edition includes the book housed in a hinged box, lined with Cave handmade paper, a Quercus lobata acorn and Quercus, a suite of prints concealed in a drawer. Photography: Rebecca Chamlee


Lorraine Crowder, Sunnyvale, California

Gone Missing Book pages and tissue paper sewing pattern After having ignored my sewing machine for quite a while, I decided last year to make a child’s dress for our new great-grandbaby. While I was completing the project, the national news became more and more disturbing. Whereas our child was happy and secure in the arms of a loving family, thousands of other children were being separated from their families at our southern border. As I looked at the dress, I began to see little girls not only without a pretty dress, but, most horrifically, without a parent. To express this idea, I created a dress without fabric from the tissue paper. Not satisfied with the result, I thought about things the child was missing besides a pretty dress including a nurturing family reading to her at bedtime. My final work was created by transferring the pages of a 1950’s children’s book to the back of the tissue paper dress pattern. While the result is pretty itself, it is evident that the child and the family have Gone Missing. Photography: Harlan P. Crowder


Debra Disman, Santa Monica, California

The Fall Artist’s book/sculpture I currently work both as a solo practitioner and as a part of the public sphere of community engagement in the form of the book, in forms inspired by the book, and in new sculptural media of my own devising which push the boundaries of the book into new forms and materials. Although the work remains tethered to loose definitions of the book as structure, it is moving progressively into other sculptural and conceptual realms where labor, repetition and a passion for the haptic become powerful motivators and themes. Having worked extensively with the built environment, I am fascinated by the parallels between books and buildings in terms of structure, meaning and utility. Each creates public and private spaces where stories are "read� on many levels, often revealing more than their authors and makers ever intended. I try to create such places and spaces of contemplation, realization and bafflement in my work and to instigate investigation, exploration and discovery in myself and others. Photography: Elon Schoenholz


Dong Dong, Iowa City, Iowa

Some Bubble Universe Paper, ink, thread Edition of 18 Some Bubble Universe is a letterpress printed artist’s book that is inspired by Inflation Theory. The book depicts a relatively stable space that is created by unstable energies—the transitions in life. With imagery created from drawings and photographs, an accordion structure, movable elements, and letters, it explores the concept of belonging through presenting misplacements, misunderstandings, comforts, and realizations inherent in transitional experiences. Photography: Dong Dong


Jan Dove, Port Angeles, Washington

Seminole Canyon Pigment print on paper in a Coptic structure binding by the artist Text by the artist Edition of 15 This book is created from journals, photos and drawings I kept during a yearlong road trip around the United States in 1990-91. This segment takes place in the winter cold of Southwest Texas, where I met Santa Claus, who gave me corn to feed the deer and directed me to visit Seminole Canyon and stay for at least two days. Photography: Jan Dove


Rosalyn Driscoll, Haydenville, Massachusetts

Book Wood, steel, leather I explore the body and perception through sculptures, installations, and paperworks. When I was making handmade paperworks, I became interested in the tactile, haptic experience of making paper, which led to making unique handmade, sculptural books. I began to make sculptures, based on the structure of the book, which could be touched and opened, thus including my body and the viewer's body in their design and use. In this piece the pages can be moved, turned and slotted into each other. Photography: David Stansbury


Sue Carrie Drummond, Jackson, Mississippi

A Darning Stitch Handmade paper, silkscreen and letterpress printed Edition of 47 We seek to give our scars value, importance, or significance. We return to them, we trace their outline, we point to these markings as witness. The blemishes we bare are residue of past moments or encounters, which allude to personal narratives that cannot be erased. In my work I explore representations for these scars, creating a visual language with which to address the cyclical nature of wear and repair. Referencing both cloth and skin, I draw from intimate relationships and experiences as a way to explore these ideas, touching on larger themes of nostalgia, loss, and absence. I consistently consider surface: what sits above, within, or beneath, questioning what is revealed or what is concealed, what is hidden, mended, or exposed. The physical layering of materials and processes in repetition throughout my work communicates how our scars accrue over time and highlights futile attempts to mask the markings of the past. Photography: Sue Carrie Drummond


Sue Carrie Drummond, Jackson, Mississippi

Vestige Offset lithography Edition of 84 We seek to give our scars value, importance, or significance. We return to them, we trace their outline, we point to these markings as witness. The blemishes we bare are residue of past moments or encounters, which allude to personal narratives that cannot be erased. In my work I explore representations for these scars, creating a visual language with which to address the cyclical nature of wear and repair. Referencing both cloth and skin, I draw from intimate relationships and experiences as a way to explore these ideas, touching on larger themes of nostalgia, loss, and absence. I consistently consider surface: what sits above, within, or beneath, questioning what is revealed or what is concealed, what is hidden, mended, or exposed. The physical layering of materials and processes in repetition throughout my work communicates how our scars accrue over time and highlights futile attempts to mask the markings of the past. Photography: Sue Carrie Drummond


Melissa Gámez-Herrera, Denton, Texas

Untitled Book of photographs of Piedras Negras, Mexico, and text from words spoken by women maquiladora workers Double accordion book, made with manta fabric and archival cotton rag pages Edition of 5 Melissa Gámez-Herrera is a visual artist who investigates and grapples with issues of human rights, humanity, spirituality, and identity through her artwork, primarily using photography as a medium. She is currently carrying out a photographic project about women maquiladora (foreign-owned assemblage factory) workers in the state of Coahuila, Mexico, which sits on the edge of the U.S.-Mexico border across from Texas. Women participating in the project have displayed leadership in their communities concerning labor rights as well as women’s rights. She is traveling to this area of Mexico to interview the women about their lives, their experiences working in the maquiladora, and to photograph them in their living spaces. The book displayed in this exhibition is a part of this project. She earned a BA in Art and Art History from Colgate University and is currently an MFA candidate in Photography at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Photography: Melissa Gámez-Herrera


Joan Iversen Goswell, Valencia, Pennsylvania

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden Green cloth covered box/book The flaps of I Never Promised You a Rose Garden open in the shape of a cross revealing a lining of images of red roses, two oval portraits of a man and woman in a “romantic” setting and an oval containing the lyrics of the song “I Never Promised You A Rose Garden” on each flap. The center section contains shards of broken glass embedded among rows of pink, red and white miniature paper roses. The images in this book are about love and romance as portrayed in romantic novels: falling in love with the hero who promises to cherish the other forever. Unfortunately, the situation can turn out to be ugly and abusive, hence the shards of glass between the rows of roses and the change in lyrics. “I beg your pardon: I never promised you a rose garden. Along with the sunshine there's gotta be a little pain sometime.” Photography: Joan Goswell


Iris Grimm, Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts

quipu translation—America’s Heritage Shifu paper thread made from pages of The World Book The quipu translation series takes a look at how our story is shaped by those who tell it. I was particularly interested in how the history and experiences of Native Peoples are taught and understood in America. I began working on this series as a response to Indigenous Peoples’ Day (formerly Columbus Day) in 2018. I found an outdated copy of the The World Book of America’s Heritage and from the pages made Japanese shifu thread. Shifu thread is a traditional Japanese paper thread often made from the pages of books. With that thread I reworked the content in the form of a quipu. The quipu was a recording device consisting of knotted strings that was used in Andean cultures of South America. The melding of cross-cultural techniques points to the mixing of cultures and ideas that America has come to be known for. Photography: Iris Grimm


Iris Grimm, Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts

a comparative overview of rivers Hand-bound partitioned case, accordion books, linocut prints a comparative overview of rivers is based on an antique German map comparing the lengths of rivers throughout the world. I was interested in the way that the map stripped the rivers down to their basic shapes in order to compare them and the almost biological quality the renderings take on in this context. I chose six of the rivers and made linocut prints of their maps to further distill the rivers down to their shape. Cutting the image into the lino block mimics the way that the rivers are carved into the earth. Each print is a different length in relation to the river that it depicts. The prints are bound as concertina books. I chose the concertina-style binding to reference the folds of road maps and how they wear over time. All six maps are housed in a partitioned drop-spine box. Photography: Iris Grimm


Karen Hardy, Asheville, North Carolina

Pull Abaca and flax handmade paper, human hair, acrylic, suede I often use unexpected materials in my work in order to capitalize on features that make the book form unique: tactility and motion. Hair is particularly engaging to me for the physical and conceptual opportunities it presents. It is visually compelling, haptically sensuous, and kinetically dynamic. Its connection to the body and all of the complex associations therein is a rich source, conjuring everything from desire to repugnance. Over fifty locks of human hair comprise the “pages� of the book. They are held in Hedi Kyle’s blizzard pockets structure and can be removed by the viewer. Since there are openings on both sides of the spine, the hair can be plucked from one side and replaced on the other in a continuous cycle. The book is housed in a translucent box, compressed in an inset from which it expands like a spring when released. The handmade paper is reminiscent of skin, and the varying density of hair suggests the effects of the hair-pulling disorder that inspired the work. Photography: Karen Hardy


Katerina Hazell, Iowa City, Iowa

This Is a Book Letterpress printing

What is a text? I might say that it is an explanation of some part of the world that exists in a way that it can be shared. Some texts are written or typed. Some are published. Some are shared with no one. My work pushes the idea of a text even further—Can a text be a series of illustrations? A series of shapes? Perhaps any object—a blanket or a chair—could be a text. What could these objects, treated as texts, tell us about others and ourselves? My work has its roots in my background as a graphic designer. I work in a variety of media such as letterpress printing, paper making, and fiber arts, connecting different media in new ways and often drawing attention to the material qualities of the text-object I create. My work often uses repetition as tool, reflecting my current interest in the idea that reality can be described with a combination of math and narrative. Photography: Katerina Hazell


Candace Hicks, Nagadoches, Texas

Common Threads: Volume 102 Embroidery on canvas (artist book) For more than ten years Hicks has been making artist’s books that use her collections of coincidences to examine the ways that we attach meaning to random events and spiritualize and mystify the ordinary. She started collecting coincidences when she read two books in a row that both included the phrase “antique dental instrument.” While that was not the first coincidence she ever noticed in her reading, that singular instance convinced her to keep a record. She began to consider that the phrase might have been the profound masquerading as the mundane. As it turned out, “antique dental instrument” has not held any special meaning. Neither have any of the coincidental phrases that followed, such as “stuffed mountain lion” or “black currant lozenge,” but the act of noticing them became the lens through which Hicks filters the world and her experiences. Photography: Candace Hicks


Sarah Hulsey, Somerville, Massachusetts

A Universal Lexicon Letterpress from metal type and relief plat Edition of 30 My work is concerned with the hidden, structural beauty of language. Language is a deeply human trait that we use in every aspect of our lives, though its workings are largely mysterious to us as speakers. From a very young age our minds are in a highly receptive state, listening for the patterns, rhythm, and regularity of which all languages are composed, but by adulthood we are no longer so aware of this. My work draws attention back to those patterns deep in our minds and their rich, varied beauty. I explore the systems of language that we use so effortlessly— phonetics, syntax, semantics, etc.—through prints that isolate an aspect of a text and create a visual correlate of its structure. I use historical maps and diagrams as a touchstone, adopting their forms and techniques as a way to represent rich linguistic patterns. By linking an area of language with the visual strategies of the chosen historical image, I am able to generate imagery from the linguistics of the text itself. Photography: Will Howcroft


Benjamin Iluzada, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ninuno Espiritu Woodcuts, linocuts, photolithographs, and digital printing on handmade cotton rag paper Edition of 8 As a first generation Filipino-American, I remain trapped in a state of flux, haunted by the echoes of the American (immigrant) dream. Even though my father left the Philippines to create a better life for his children, as his son, I am expected to behave as if I also grew up there, knowing all of the intricacies and traditions that accompany it. However, like many immigrants, my father disavowed his heritage in order to assimilate into American society, leaving me in a precarious place amongst and outside of the Filipinos living in America and Filipino-American communities. Excluded by other immigrant communities and pitied by those fortunate enough to grow up immersed in Filipino culture, I remain “othered” by those who see me as “ethnic.” Through my artistic practice, I seek to piece together what it means to be a Filipino-American rejected by what I see as both sides. Photography: Ben Iluzada


Peggy Johnston, Des Moines, Iowa

Blue Horizon Indigo flax, aeronautical maps, acrylic wash, thread, wire, and a paper plane A bundle of aeronautical maps made me think of a plane flying over the horizon. And that experience inspired this book, with a sewn board binding covered in stitched indigo flax paper. The bundle of maps, tinted with an acrylic wash, became the book’s 70 signatures. They are link stitched to mimic map lines across the spine. A paper airplane soars from beyond the blue horizon. Photography: Peggy Johnston


Carrie Larson, Hoquiam, Washington

Mortal Coil Artist’s book In making this piece, I invited a number of women to consider a particular, individual wound that is/was a source of grief for each of them, then respond regarding that damage. Beginning with these 17 voices (promised anonymity) to form the text, I shaped a work that would collect, connect and transform our shared pain. By asking others to entrust their sorrows to me, in turn I needed to shape a piece that honored that generosity. The process of hand-stitching requires concentrated time, not unlike listening, an act that felt particularly appropriate as I sat with this collective grief. The form is a nod to boro, a Japanese patchwork technique introduced to me by one of my respondents. How beautiful and fitting to—out of necessity—stitch tatters back into whole cloth. What is mended increases in strength, just as our connections to one another can impart strength. What begins in darkness transforms. Photography: Carrie L. Larson


Sue Leopard, Rochester, New York

Girl Struggles 36 individual collages made from leftover etchings, lithographs, ink jet prints, and photographs by the artist on various Italian and Japanese papers, mounted on 2-ply buffered rag and hinged with book cloth in a double sided, stiff leaf structure that allows for a sculptural presentation; page edges of 23 Karat gold leaf Conceived as an artifact that might be passed down to future generations of women, my story includes a hand written letter that begins: “My Dear Girl, I am getting to be an old woman now. Old enough to have imagined who it might be that comes after me. It must be you . . . .� This message to my imagined girl, continues on to address personal and universal themes of love and loss and to offer a backward glimpse. The book has evolved from this instinct, in this spirit, and tries to give a palpable sense of one person speaking to another across the vastness of time as all books do. Other girls and other ideas have swirled their way into the visual and written narrative alluding to qualities and states, fears and joys that we most likely all share, cross generationally and cross culturally. Photography: Sue Leopard


Sue Leopard, Rochester, New York

Work/Time Figured maple, antique type, bookcloth, silk, daylily paper, marbled paper Work/Time is a work unfolding in time, making haste slowly, advocating an approach to creating that allows room for revelation in the act of making and a natural evolution of the object as it finds its way into being. The artist must sometimes step back. It is a miniature book inspired by the words of Shaker founder Mother Ann Lee (1736-1784): “Do all your work as if you had a thousand years to live and as you would if you knew you must die tomorrow!� Why do we hurry when death is a certainty? Do not hurry; do not rest. Photography: Sue Leopard


Amy Lund, Portland, Oregon

Home Work Book Edition of 8 My work seeks to understand the quality and power of Home--to grasp the practices of how we live and how it influences the skills we learn and the resilience we acquire and its role in our identity and the happiness we hopefully find. I reuse, remake, and rethink the materials and skills of my domestic life. I transform the goods and skills of both Home and Book making visible the beauty and power of each. The things I make lure the viewer to touch, handle, and feel, inciting a personal yet conceptual response. Photography: Shiloh Gastello


Kimberly McCarthy, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Fern in Blue Cherry wood covers, milk paint, mulberry paper, acrylic dye, pen, handmade paper The small books I create are intimate and delicate, yet durable and familiar objects, not unlike the wildflowers I find inspiration in. I am drawn to make books because of the way with which they can be interacted, their accessibility, and their ability to reveal new and changing content. My books are a cohesive place where I can incorporate visual and written ideas derived from my sketchbooks. They allow me to expand my work into a three-dimensional media and engage my love of material and intimacy. Books allow me to incorporate other methods of printing, papermaking, cyanotype and dyeing, while exploring themes of nature in a tactile and engaging medium. Photography: Steve Mann and Kimberly McCarthy


Kyra Robinson, Newnan, Georgia

Sheeriously Screenprint on Acrylic

My work centers identity and the human relationship with the environment. It is an exploration of my nonconventional Southern upbringing, my family history, and environmental and social issues. Sheeriously is a narrative written about the lifespan of a pair of panty hose. It discusses how we as a society are quick to toss out things that no longer have a perception of value. Photography: Kyra Robinson


Laura Russell, Portland, Oregon

Take Me, I’m Yours Limited Edition Artist’s Book Edition of 25

Many years ago this artist placed a singles ad in Denver’s alternative weekly newspaper. The headline read, “Work Hard, Play Hard,” and now this book celebrates 25 years of happy marriage thanks to a fun advertising experiment. In a bit of whimsy, image and text play off each other to create irreverent pairings of singles’ pick-up lines with intimate portraits of abandoned furniture that can be found cast aside like a bad romance on city streets everywhere. Twenty Polaroid-style photographs are paired with text highlighting the becoming features of the lonely furniture. The 80’s-style looker says, “Single white sofa, mature, well-endowed, seeking free love in warm, cozy, dry home.” The teal velvet slipper chair says, “Me: clean, curvy, cushy, velvety, dove-tail joints. Single and ready to mingle.” This limited-edition artist book utilizes Hedi Kyle’s flag book structure to mimic a local bulletin board that might have been used for advertising in the good old days before the internet. Photography: Laura Russell


Keri Schroeder, San Antonio, Texas

Influxstructure: A Topography of Ghosts Map-fold variation, 4-sided enclosed box variation; letterpress, pochoir, bookcloth, board, magnet, iron filings Edition of 25

My work examines landscape and objects as metaphor for the human experience. A focal point of this investigation is a curiosity behind how we understand and navigate space. Influxstructure explores macro and micro human systems (both natural and artificial), and how we use the earth and our bodies to communicate and navigate space. The map-fold variation structure allows images to be peeled back layer by layer, alternating between the minuscule (synapses, nerves, veins) to the immense (Nazca lines, highways, nuclear test site). Subjects are presented from a perspective that is either too close or too far away to grasp fully the entirety of the image. When the book is closed, iron filings in the glass case gather around a hidden magnet. When open, the iron filings fall away and scatter into formless dust. Iron is present in every subject represented in the book: our blood, the earth, asphalt highways, etc. Holes in the pages peek through, showing their interconnection. Photography: Keri Schroeder


Jillian Sico, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Tribute Letterpress, Alabama kozo and Mexican mulberry bark paper, Alabama kozo paper, Zerkall book paper, bookcloth Regular edition of 14. Special edition of 2 My work is inspired by the slow, quiet reality that I encounter in wild places and natural processes. Making paper by hand, growing fibers and dye plants, and carving wood all require a quiet, meditative patience. I use philosophical, scientific, historical, and religious texts to explore the visible and invisible layers of meaning embedded in natural systems and the human activities that relate to them. My process is informed and expanded through research on agricultural and papermaking traditions in other parts of the world. Tribute is a letterpress-printed artist book that explores amate papermaking in Mexico through historical and personal reflections. For the book, I made my own paper mulberry (kozo) bark paper using amate-making methods I learned in San Pablito, Mexico. Photography: Jillian Sico


Lynn Skordal, La Conner, Washington

Bird Windows Altered book (vintage book, book scraps, alcohol-based inks, pigmented wax) I live and work in the tiny town of La Conner in the far Northwest corner of the United States. After retiring from the practice of law ten years ago, I began making artist’s books and small works on paper. Old-style cut-and-paste collage has been and remains a favorite medium, and I frequently also incorporate sewing techniques, thread, fabric, metal, wood, and other materials into my pieces. The goal is always to tell a story that might startle, amuse, or provoke. My work has appeared in book arts and collage exhibitions across the country and in books and magazines and is included in many public and private collections. Photography: Lynn Skordal


Gail Smuda, Concord, New Hampshire

Embracing the Myth Mixed media

My work has evolved over the years but continues to focus on books and fiber and a combination of these two areas. Much of my work tells the story of women and women’s work with special emphasis on the end of the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries. To paraphrase Lucy Lippard in Lure of the Local, I feel art should be specific enough to engage people on the level of their own experiences, layered and complex and unfamiliar enough to hold people’s attention once they have been attracted, evocative enough to make people recall related moments in their own lives and provocative and critical enough to make people think about issues beyond the scope of the work, to continually call into question superficial assumptions. Photography: Charley Freiberg


Bonnie Stahlecker, Plainfield, Indiana

The Absence of Proof Paste, paper covered boards with collage, linen thread, slate accordion binding

The theme of this book is a reaction against the ones who choose to believe climate change doesn’t exist. They cling to an ill-advised acceptance that there’s no evidence even though it’s raining proof from the sky. The text is taken from an essay on the absence of proof that the earth was not flat or spinning. Photography: Bonnie Stahlecker


Lorna Stevens, San Francisco, California

Paradise Drive Artist’s book, ink and watercolor on archival paper, aluminum Poetry by Rebecca Foust Edition of 14 unique handmade books Paradise Drive, an artist’s book structured on the fourteen-line form of the sonnet, combines Rebecca Foust’s poems and my fourteen-stroke watercolor paintings. I made fourteen unique books only, each with original art and hand-lettered text. To exhibit the work, I created mounted broadsides of the book pages in two- or three-panel formats. Viewers experience the book as they would wall-hung art in a gallery setting. A digital version of the entire book is accessible at <https://www.dropbox.com/s/40m4dgwmgam1d4o/Paradise_Drive_Full_Book.pdf?dl=0>. Photography: Mika Sperling


Barbara Tetenbaum, Portland, Oregon

Portland/Living Pochoir and letterpress on Japanese paper Edition of 30 Portland/Living was created in response to the growing homeless encampments that were popping up along my commuting route. I wanted to create a visual document of this liminal space that the homeless live in and to render this in a way that would hold readers' attention to keep them from turning away from the issue. I chose very thin, fragile Japanese paper, which puts the reader in a position of 'care' as they turn the pages. The encampments are rendered via handstenciled watercolor. These are accompanied by quotes from members of a homeless community in nearby Olympia. Photography: Barbara Tetenbaum


Sally Tosti, Brooklyn, New York

Louisville Book Double-sided accordion book, hard Cave paper covers Edition of 5 â&#x20AC;&#x153;My Distressed Citiesâ&#x20AC;? project documents the less affluent neighborhoods in cities across the United States. Hampered by problems of urban flight, industry changes, and mismanagement, many of these cities have experienced deindustrialization, and economic difficulties. These neighborhoods are in cities that on the surface may be thriving, hidden from tourists or business travelers who most likely would not venture there. Detroit is one of those cities that is redeveloping the downtown area. However, redevelopment has not reached many neighborhoods such as Highland Park, technically a city within metro Detroit. Even across disparate areas of the United States, these neighborhoods have elements in common. Hallmarks of these less affluent neighborhoods are the diversity and resilience in the face of adversity as shown in their use of color and murals to enliven their surroundings. This project addresses the impact of economic problems, urban renewal, and redevelopment in American cities. Photography: Sally Tosti


Trish Yates, North Rocks, New South Wales, Australia

Wandering the Eucalypt Forest Hand printed, mokuhanga printmaking

I have chosen a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Japanese accordionâ&#x20AC;? double-sided book to express a journey through my local Sydney bushland. My work evokes the marks and textures that characterize the bark surfaces of trees in the Australian landscape while the colors and patterns allude to seasonal transitions. I have carved woodblocks and used mokuhanga printing to express the abstract qualities of the bark of the Eucalyptus trees. Photography: Trish Yates


Denise Bookwalter and Meg Mitchell, Tallahassee, FL INVITATIONAL

Rain/fall Letterpress drumleaf hardbound book with volvelles The project Rain/fall accentuates the physicality of the book and the possibilities of contemporary technology combining these seemingly disparate forms to create a complementary cross-platform reading experience. Rain/fall is driven by geography and weather and exists as a book and an ipad app. The text in both the app and the book is determined by where the reader is geographically and what weather the reader is experiencing at that location. In the app the reading experience is driven by location and weather data culled from a live database and in contrast in the book the experience is driven by the reader who inputs his or her own weather data by turning the volvelles. The book is collaboration between Denise Bookwalter and Meg Mitchell. Photography: Denise Bookwalter


Andrew Huot, Norcross, GA INVITATIONAL

Chance Operation Letterpress on paper, case bound in cloth

Photography: Andrew Huot


Mari Eckstein Gower, Redmond, WA INVITATIONAL

Garden I: Searching for Paradise Inlet print on Superfine Cover Photography: Mari Eckstein Gower

Profile for Decatur Arts Alliance

Book As Art: Wonders  

Book As Art: Wonders is the seventh edition of this critically acclaimed artist book exhibition established by the Decatur Arts Alliance in...

Book As Art: Wonders  

Book As Art: Wonders is the seventh edition of this critically acclaimed artist book exhibition established by the Decatur Arts Alliance in...

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